Sunday, August 30, 2009


* This is another torn out page that I've kept for years and years. Tasha was always my fave model when I could be bothered with such things as keeping up with models names.

* Best Sunday morning guilty pleasure: Waking up and realising I could watch the first episode of season 2 of The Rachel Zoe Project. I've missed you Brad.

* Watching it in bed with Lola, a cup of tea and Monte Enebro cheese and honey on toast. (Lola wants customised Chanel couture now.)

D.V. will be answering your questions on Tuesday.

* Um, how do I say this? Finally I'm a Twit. Twit me up Twitfans!

{photo of Tasha Tilberg by Bruce Weber from Vogue Italia 1996?}

Friday, August 28, 2009


It's raining, there's a distinct autumnal nip in the air so what better moment for a slightly sad update on the 'hood. I love to tell stories here of my to the untrained eye sometimes insalubrious 'hood - the idiosyncrasies that make it so special to me. But unfortunately, not one but two of those quirky things have been erm, compromised and since I mentioned them here before, I'll have to mention them again.

First of all, since I wrote this post about Mr Rose's voodoo house every time I've driven past him he has indeed been ranting and railing (so that's why I thought that!) at people passing by/the world. I must have caught him on a good day when I had that little chat with him. The other day I walked past when he was sitting on his porch. Unfortunately I raised my hand to wave at just the moment I saw the crazed look in his eyes. I could still hear him shouting (very possibly in tongues) half a mile down the road. Poor bloke, I don't know if he has anyone coming in to look after him or other support but he seems to be getting worse each time I see him.

A couple of months ago I went to see Thomas the horse and found the field he used to graze in padlocked up, with a notice from Network Rail saying it was their land (see photo above). Oh yes, that's much better, all chopped down and desolate instead of providing a place to graze for a lovely docile horse. Network Rail claims to be intending to use the plot for a 'community project'. Hmm, wonder when that will happen. I have a suspicion the horse's owners were using the land for 11 years; after 12 by law it would have belonged to them, so on the padlock went. The field is right next to a school and a playgroup and I would always see people bringing their kids to see the horse. I ended up speaking to people I never would have had the chance to normally, who said they brought their kids each year (he was only there in the summer) and that their children had never seen a horse before. Of course, why would they have, living in a poor urban area with no access to the countryside. (Cue slightly amusing interactions: child: Mummy is that a pony? mum: It's a donkey. me: it's a HORSE.)

I've tried to be an annoying busybody and approach Network Rail about it but haven't had any response at all. Now my neighbour and I are trying to find a disused garden around here where they (there are two of them - a horse and a baby shetland pony) can go to graze freely. Their owners look after them so well but are currently reduced to walking them around on a leash like dogs - they have nowhere to go and have been kicked out of the local parks.

Ohlala it's hard to keep the whole Amelie/Mary Poppins vibe alive these days - and I haven't even told you about the blokes on motorbikes wearing balaclavas who chased me along the pavement last week. No real harm done, just a mild heart attack.

{p.s. D.V. is hard at work cogitating on your questions - there's a bit of a romantic theme to your issues, which is most exciting.}

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I think it's that time again. Yes, I've just had word from her maid, Yvonne. Joseph the masseur has been, she's spent five hours in her bathroom and has had a few preparatory champagne cocktails. The cheeks and ears are rouged to perfection, the blue black hair lacquered into an unmoving helmet; the Verdura cuffs and other jewels are in place, the cigarette ready to be held aloft in blood red nailed hands. The cushions have been arranged on the red floral sofa for maximum comfort and the air is scented with Rigaud candles.


Yes, Madame Vreeland will receive you now.

Ask her (almost) anything and she will answer because she is the font of all wisdom. {For previous Ask D.V.s and rules of engagement look here.}

{photo credit unknown}

Friday, August 21, 2009


I am feeling the need to upgrade the ring situation. Each of my rings that I wear every day has a story, except one which was intended as a temporary thing, but I've been wearing for two years. The thing is, I find it hard to find jewellery I like in London. It's a hard life, I know. I don't want to buy mountains of gold and gemstones, but I'd like to look at some stunning baubles please. Obviously I can walk along Burlington Arcade and Bond Street to gawp at delicious antique diamonds, but I'd like to gawp at something that, should I really fall in love with it I could potentially afford and wear every day. The only place I can ever think of in London is Kabiri, then Liberty and Selfridges. In any other city I know, I would have a little jewellery place I'd be dying to visit, whose aesthetic fits with my own. Somewhere I could just you know, go and swoon, marvel at the beauty, that kind of thing. I love the stuff from Aesa but there's nowhere in London that stocks it currently. What I want is something that isn't in the pretty pretty cute and delicate vein or the I'm a Hell's Angel vein or the I've been on a gap year and bought these ethnic trinkets vein, but is something different. Finally, last night I saw a ring by Macha, which as luck would have it is London based. I love all the rings, all of them. You must go to their etsy shop or site so that I don't end up grabbing every single photo to show you. Let's stick to rings:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Keel's Simple Diary {via Famapa} and floating kamikaze self beheading ranunculus in bowls of water.

The Keel's Simple Diary is most enchanting. I chose red, which could mean that I a) like cashmere b) am quick c) dislike loud noise. (All of the above in fact.) Since it asks you questions and you just have to fill stuff in, it only takes a moment. So far, I've done it every day. A random sampling of questions:

Your day was: a sip (), wasabi (), a slip (). Explain why..........

Definitely and without a doubt, you can resist this temptation:..........

Stupidity is 1. entertaining. 2. tough to cure. 3. time consuming.

What you don't have yet will be better than what you have now. ()Yes () probably not.

I was going to call this post Simple Favourites Thursday but apparently it's Wednesday. Duckie has broken down (her alternator has died) so I am slightly stranded for the next few days. I also got a parking ticket even though I had paid to park by phone, but weirdly I still feel quite cheery. Must be the diary.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I came across this picture on a photographer's website and instantly knew where, roughly when and of whose belongings it was taken. Isn't that weird that by seeing this place/person in magazine articles and pictures you can recognise it just from a detail? Sort of like recognising a friend by seeing their foot or ear.

So who lives in a house like this?

{photo - Andrew Durham}

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Sometimes I go for a wander in ol' London town hoping to be inspired. Often I get annoyed and feel frustrated, can't accumulate enough inspiration, get tired and need to eat, end up eating something mediocre, then trudge home having emptied my purse with nothing to show for it. Stew, repeat.

This was not one of those days. The warm sunshine didn't hurt, being more conducive to wandering than driving rain and wind. I wandered into the Idea Books pop up shop next to St Martin's Lane Hotel. Momentarily floored by the sight of a Jane Birkin book full of incredible photos of her from the '60s - '80s I'd never seen before, I quickly surmised that everything would be insanely overpriced and I shouldn't even ask. More temptation followed (I'm still thinking about that Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music book) until I saw a rare book I actually own and asked the price. To my surprise it was pretty reasonable. On chatting with the guy there it became apparent that they know what's what in the world of cool second hand books. You're unlikely to get a cheeky bargain but equally, they're not going to try and charge you £200 for a book you could get on ebay for £50. I didn't get the Jane Birkin book (yet) but it's hovering about on my wishlist.

Next up (after a slight detour to try on shiny new Repetto shoes at Poste Mistress) was the best decision I've made for some time. I was in Soho; it was lunchtime. As I walked past Barrafina I noticed that miraculously there was no queue. I've tried to go to this place three or four times and impatience (mine or my companions) has always got the better of me. Not that it needs any more glowing accolades and I'll try and refrain from too many gushing superlatives but may fail. It was completely, utterly, without a doubt the best lunch I've had in London, perhaps ever. (Wipes the floor with Brindisa.) I started with a cold glass of fino and a deep fried courgette flower stuffed with goat's cheese, drizzled with a bit of honey. The barman/waiter raised his eyebrows as I was eating it as if to say, "You've never tasted anything so good, have you?" And honestly, I hadn't. Then, the one thing you can never find in London, let alone done well: Tuna Tartar. It was perfect. Okay, all the seafood looked amazing - I was tempted by the razor clams but I had to try the tartar. By this point I was becoming ecstatic about the food and kept grinning at my very affable waiter/barman as if I'd just been let in on a secret. My only complaint is that once you're there, you keep seeing dishes other people have ordered and it's all too easy to keep ordering more and more dishes (as they're only tapas sized) and end up spending a lot more than you meant to. Every person within striking distance of me was doing this as well so I didn't feel too bad. And it was totally worth it. I could have stayed there all day, but onwards...

I'm chuffed that Liberty is deservedly bigging itself up.

As everyone knows, and Nancy astutely pointed out, Liberty print is my madeleine. So how thrilling it was to see the entire back wall of the Liberty building papered in Liberty print. (Takes a bit of extra housekeeping to maintain as you can see in the picture.)

I managed to sneakily snap this blurry pic of the inside of the print swathed lift just as the doors opened. This whole print mania is part of Prints Charming which celebrates the enduring amazingness of Liberty prints. On the 4th floor there's a lovely exhibition (no photos allowed) which is really worth seeing. All sorts of things for sale like sunglasses, lampshades and wellington boots are covered in different Liberty prints and there's a section that shows how designers have used the prints throughout the years; from Yves Saint Laurent in the seventies to Nike, to Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony.

I spent ages in Liberty, fondling all the new season's merchandise. I love it when everything is all new and fresh and together. I still like to be able to pick it up, scrunch the fabric, try things on. It helps to put my thoughts together for the coming season: still in my thoughts are a Marni felted wool coat and an Acne fluffy palest blue jumper. Times like those are when I appreciate living somewhere like London where you basically have access to everything. Even if you can't afford it, fondling clothes isn't illegal as yet. Halfway round the jewellery section on the ground floor I realised I had to go, so had to rush off without a thorough fondling of the bags and scarves. Then rushing to the tube I saw that the A.P.C. shop is finally open. I literally ran in, did one lap of the upstairs, commented on the lovely new smell, then ran out again.

Later I sat in the still warm garden drinking wine with a friend until we got sick of being devoured by mosquitoes. A couple more friends turned up, then I stayed up watching Rosemary's Baby on Film4 and I swear Mia Farrow was wearing the same Repetto Mary Janes I'd earlier tried on in one scene (not so unlikely as it's a reissued '60s design). I wasn't "haunted for years" as the review in the paper said, but the film and Mia's costumes were excellent.

So all in all, an inspiring day in London. I'm so very grateful (to whom I'm not sure).

Friday, August 07, 2009


lyell UO

Lyell for Urban Outfitters! Oh, please UO, for once make it available in Europe. I would gladly run the gauntlet of teens on summer holidays, tourists and discordant music that makes my ears bleed and makes me feel old, to get my hands on it.

{via Refinery 29}

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


I knew I had a photo of that Parisian doppelganger amphicar knocking around somewhere.

{My photo ©}

Monday, August 03, 2009


I've always been really curious about the Edition Paumes Paris books, but I had never actually seen a live one. How could I not be curious about these Japanese books with titles like Appartements de filles a Paris, Petits appartements a Paris, Appartements d'amoureux à Paris, Paris Kitchens, Paris Studios, Paris Brocante - you get the idea. How to order one of these little tomes from Japan always seemed very slightly befuddling, but then I realised you can order them from the Yvestown shop. I decided on Appartements de filles a Paris (the homes of 22 young female artists in Paris) and shipped from the Netherlands I received it in about 3 days.

Flipping through the little book gave me slightly the same feeling as scrolling through Paris real estate listings, except with totally impenetrable Japanese text instead of real estate listings where you can just about guess: vitro ceramique = ceramic hob? Probably. Overall though, the style the makers of the book are attracted to was a little too cutesy/kitsch and brightly coloured for my cold, stark soul.

One apartment I wouldn't mind moving into straight away though, was that of Mademoiselle Camille. I might have mentioned before that I'm completely obsessed with the chevron oak floors you get in classic Parisian apartments. It's a sickness really. Camille has my dream floor. Her apartment is even painted the same colour as mine so Lola would feel at home immediately. Look, there's even a chair for her. And when Camille and I swap apartments indefinitely, she doesn't even have to pack up her Chanel bag, Repetto shoes and (faux j'espere) fur jacket because I would be, for a small fee, willing to look after them for her.

camille 2

{Images from Appartements de filles a Paris / Edition Paumes}

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Completely amazing/ridiculous/naive/including every cliched Paris landmark/wonderful/cringeworthy/from the vault of early music video. I think I actually preferred promos when they were like this.

edit: I have to link to another one, because I just realised this blog is 4 years old today. That must be a century in blog years - shouldn't we get a telegram from Al Gore or something?